A good Barlow lense can be of enormous value to both the visual observer and the astrophotographer. I bought my revelation primarily for imaging although by now it has also got some good use visually. For those who are unfamiliar a barlow lens will magnify an image by it’s stated number, in this case for example an eyepiece that yields 100x magnification will now give 250x. It effectively doubles your eyepiece collection. Especially useful in lower powered eyepieces, enabling you to reach higher mags while keeping a comfortable eye relief.
Unfortunately there are alot of budget barlows out there that give poor results. The revelation falls well within the cheaper category but thankfully this barlow performs very well indeed. I would even say it’s the best sub £50 barlow I’ve ever used.
The barlow is apochromatic which to put it simply means it’s been specially made to focus all the constituent colours in a light beam to the same distance, this means there is significantly less false colour that can plague chromatic lenses. It utilises three elements which helps reduce abberations, keeping the amount of glass between the object and the observer down to a minimum is always a good thing.
The biggest suprise for me was the lack of vignetting in such a low cost barlow. Vignetting can occur in poorly made barlows and results in the images brightness reducing towards the outer portions of the field of view. There is none at all, I have recently been observing the beauty of Jupiter and it’s gallilean moons and used the revelation to crank my 3mm eyepiece up until it was giving me a power of over 830x, using my clock drive to keep the planet in the field of view I let it slowly drift out to the edges of the field, Jupiter remained bright and crisp even as it started to exit the field.
The barlow itself feels solid which is reassuring, some other budget barlows I’ve used feel like they could fall apart if handled coarsely but the revelation feels robust. I accidentally dropped it amongst some gravel a few weeks ago and there’s not a mark left on it. I was either incredibly lucky or alot of care has been taken to produce a barlow that not only gives great images but can stand up to some punishment to.
If you’re on a budget and need a barlow then I definately reccomend the 2.5x offering from revelation, it’s well made and does the job with none of the failings assosciated with so many cheap barlows nowadays.